Zoosphaerium actaeon (White, 1859)

Wesener, Thomas & Wägele, Johann-Wolfgang, 2008, The giant pill-millipedes of Madagascar: revision of the genus Zoosphaerium (Myriapoda, Diplopoda, Sphaerotheriida), Zoosystema 30 (1), pp. 5-85 : 80

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https://doi.org/ 10.5281/zenodo.5391729

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scientific name

Zoosphaerium actaeon


Zoosphaerium actaeon View in CoL (White, 18 9)

Zephronia actaeon White , 18 9: 40, pl. 7, figs - b.

Sphaerotherium actaeon – de Saussure & Zehntner 1897: pl. 1, figs 1-1b, pl., fig. 12 (redescription without viewing of holotype); 1902: 40, pl. 1, fig. 11 (redescription without viewing of holotype). — Brolemann 1922 (no description or drawing).

Zoosphaerium actaeon View in CoL – Jeekel 1999: 10 (lists species name). — Enghoff 2003: 20 (lists species name).

MATERIAL EXAMINED. — Madagascar. Unknown locality, leg. Coquerel, det. H. de Saussure 1902, 1 ♀ (broken, premature) ( MNHN CB001). — Nosy Bé, leg. Deyrolle, det. H. de Saussure 1902, 2 ♀♀ (damaged) ( MNHN CB002). — Unknown locality, det. H. de Saussure, 1 ♀ (broken, with eggs) ( MNHN CB003). — Côte est, leg. Lantz, 1882, det.?, 1 ♀ (broken into pieces) ( MNHN CB004). — Unknown locality, coll. M. Lantz (Grandidier), 1903, det.?, 2 ♀♀ (dried, 1 immature) ( MNHN CB00).


The holotype of Z. actaeon is no longer in the collections of the BMNH. The only characters given in the first description is the size, brown coloration and the fact that the surface has an orange-like pattern. The material de Saussure and Zehntner obviously used for their redescriptions includes at least three different species, one of them being Zoosphaerium neptunus , two others being undescribed. Because all specimens are females, always without precise locality and damaged, it is impossible to select a neotype. Recent collected material of the CAS and FMNH giving precise localities includes seven morphospecies of giant pill-millipedes with characters similar to those of Z. actaeon , unfortunately all of them only present the female sex. Zoosphaerium actaeon was considered synonym of Sphaerotherium hippocastanum by Butler (1873: 17).

Zoosphaerium hippocastanum ( Gervais, 1847) View in CoL ( Fig. 48 View FIG )

Sphaerotherium hippocastanum Gervais, 1847: 83 . — Butler 1873: 17. — Lenz 1880: 1 3 (no drawing). — de Saussure & Zehntner 1897: pl., fig. 1; 1902: 4. — Brolemann 1922: 230, figs 3-.

Zoosphaerium hippocastanum View in CoL – Jeekel 1999: 10 (lists species name). — Enghoff 2003: 20 (lists species name).

TYPE MATERIAL. — ♀ holotype (completely fragmented), ( MNHN CB027).

TYPE LOCALITY. — Madagascar, Nosy Bé.

ADDITIONAL MATERIAL EXAMINED. — Madagascar. Nossi Bé (1 27), leg. 1884, det. H. de Saussure 3 ♀♀ (one broken), ( MNHN CB02). — Leg. Goudot, det. H. de Saussure, 1 ♀ (broken), ( MNHN CB028). — Env. de Tanarive, coll. Acad. malgache, leg. Broelemann nº 2, det. Broelemann, 3 ♂♂, 3 ♀♀ ( MNHN CB029). — Env. de Tanarive, coll. Acad. malgache, leg. Broelemann nº 2, det. Broelemann, 1 ♂ ( MNHN CB030).


The 1 0-year old holotype of Z. hippocastanum is completely fragmented, the only visible characters are the locking carinae of the anal shield ( Fig. 48B View FIG ) and a groove with sclerotized teeth on the first joint of antenna. Even the endotergum is so strongly covered with irremovable dirt, that it contains only few informations ( Fig. 48A View FIG ). De Saussure & Zehntner (1902) were obviously the last and only persons, who reviewed the holotype. Nevertheless, the specimens determined by those authors as Z. hippocastanum and used for illustrations (MNHN CB02 and MNHN CB028) do include more than one species, the specimen used for illustrations represents in fact Zoosphaerium neptunus , from which Z. hippocastanum differs strongly in the shape of the locking carinae on the anal shield.

Then we have the material used for redescription by Broelemann (MNHN CB029 and CB030). This material is also not identical with the holotype of Z. hippocastanum , the locking carinae of the anal shield show a complete different position. It is not possible to select a better conserved neotype among the existing material. It may be possible to collect additional material from the island of Nosy Bé, if the type locality is really correct.


Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle














Zoosphaerium actaeon

Wesener, Thomas & Wägele, Johann-Wolfgang 2008

Zoosphaerium actaeon

ENGHOFF H. 2003: 20
JEEKEL C. A. W. 1999: 10

Zoosphaerium hippocastanum

ENGHOFF H. 2003: 20
JEEKEL C. A. W. 1999: 10

Sphaerotherium hippocastanum

BROLEMANN H. W. 1922: 230
LENZ H. 1880: 1
BUTLER A. G. 1873: 17
GERVAIS P. 1847: 83
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